With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Young Adult | Contemporary
Published by HarperTeen
Released May 7, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High is a book that lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. In fact, it’s such a good book that I started the audiobook just a couple of days after finishing the physical copy. It’s that good!
With the Fire on High follows Emoni, a teenage mother who has a special gift in the kitchen. The dishes she cooks not only taste great, but they make people remember special moments from their lives. Now in her senior year of high school, she learns that her school will be offering an immersive Spain culinary class, complete with a trip to Spain! Emoni is worried about raising the money needed for the trip, but when her teacher puts her in a leadership role for coming up with ideas to raise money, she puts her apron on and gets to work.
This was such a sweet book, particularly the relationships in it. One of the aspects of this novel that really stuck with me was Emoni’s relationships with her family and friends, which were all really healthy. Emoni is such a strong character and it shows. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and treats everyone around her with respect. Most importantly, she sets solid boundaries in her relationship with the book’s love interest. For that reason alone, I think this is a great young adult book and hopefully will show teenagers about what a healthy relationship looks like.
I was actually pretty put off by the introduction of the book’s love interest at first, but I needn’t have worried. It’s such a healthy and slow-burn romance that it ended up working so perfectly.
Another reason that I believe this book is a perfect one for young adult readers is that it’s incredibly empowering. As I mentioned before, Emoni is a very strong female character, and I think more young people need role models like her in literature.
I flew through this novel in just a little over a day, and it’s paced very well. It’s a book that flows nicely and keeps your eyes glued to the page. It’s also a very aesthetically pleasing book. The cover, which you see above, is gorgeous, as is the yellow naked hardback.
With the Fire on High is Elizabeth Acevedo’s sophomore novel, and now that I’ve fallen in love with this one, I really want to read her debut, The Poet X, which is told in verse. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, fun, culinary-themed young adult novel, this one will quickly become your favorite.